Skip to main content

In Which I Love the '90s

I've found myself taking an excessive amount of comfort in the '90s as of late. Let me be clear from the start: the '90s were not a good time in the life of me. Does anyone remember 6th grade? Yeah, that was 1996, and then through '99 were pretty much the opposite of a blast. So why I've been choosing to revel in pop culture from those exact years, I have zero idea.

However, in homage to that time, let's look at some pretty awesome (or at least other people say they're awesome) books from then. I need to take a break from watching Buffy and wearing plaid anyway:

Holes by Louis Sachar. Hey! That guy who wrote Wayside School wrote a Newbery Medal book! One that I still haven't read, but it won in '99 and makes the cut here.

The Hours by Michael Cunningham. This won the Pulitzer for Fiction. I love this cover, although I haven't seen it in real life. Ok, confession, I haven't heard of the other winners from '96-'99. And I haven't read The Hours, I've only seen the movie. Shit, I'm bad at this.

Oh hey! The Poisonwood Bible was a finalist in '99. Which I also haven't read. But I have a copy on my bookshelf that I got at the Salvation Army across the street from me (don't be overwhelmed by the classiness of my neighborhood) for 50 cents.

Cold Mountain was the National Book Award winner in 1997. I've actually read this. I thought it was perfectly fine. But I'll quote my friend Doug's review, because it's pretty epic:

"I would rather dip my balls in liquid nitrogen until they froze solid and broke off than read this fucktardedly insipid waste of wood pulp again. This is a 25 page story in a 250 page novel. A half a page to describe a goat?! The goat didn't even have anything to do with the story! Watch this... 'also there was a goat.' Boom. Done. Half a fucking sentence. You suck, Frazier. Fuck you."

Charming Billy won in '98! The key player in my Intro to Harry Potter story! Well, that's delightful. I remember nothing about that book except that Billy was dead and the book was all about his wake. I think.

When I was 13, these were not the books I was reading. I ignored all contemporary fiction because I thought it had gratuitous sex and bad language (kinda dropped the ball on caring about that latter item) and that, since the generations hadn't cut out the real trash, it'd be too hard to find genuinely well-done novels. Yeah. Maybe when I was 13 it was hard. Fortunately since then, I've gotten less stupid, and now most of what I read's been written in the last 50 years.

The real turning point came when I was reading something like Nicholas Nickleby and I thought, 'Okay. If literature helps us understand our world/ does it help me if the only world/society I understand is Victorian England?' So I decided to read contemporary stuff, and now, woo, it's pretty great.

Does anyone else remember stuff from the '90s? Granted, it wasn't that long ago, but I was pretty divorced from pop culture in general, 'cause I was a full-of-myself preteen/teenager. Also because my mother swore pop music LITERALLY hurt her ears. I seem to recall butterfly hair clips being big. That's about it.


Popular posts from this blog

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.

INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.

You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:

We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

#24in48: What Was Good, What Was Bad, What You Should Read

24in48, where we try to read for 24 hours out of 48, has come and gone once more. I managed 13 hours, which considering my usual average is 2, is excellent and I will take it. I attribute this to genuine planning this time and a remarkable lack of things to do that weekend.

What did I finish!

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
Captain Phasma by Kelly Thompson (comic)
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
DC Bombshells Volume 1 (comic)
The Punisher: The Complete Collection, Volume 1 (comic)
Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall

The Good.

It was actually all pretty good, so I'm gonna give a quick recap so you can decide if it strikes your fancy or not.

The Summaries

The Witches: Salem, 1692. This is a breakdown of everything that happened before, during, and after the Salem witch trials of 1692. I loved the beginning because Stacy Schiff gives you a good idea of the awfulness of life in New England in the 17th century, and it also helps you understand how the trials happened, because everyth…